Pearls of the Word

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The mystery of Christ

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"That is, the mystery [musterion] made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery [musterion] of Christ" (Ephesians 3:3-4 NIV).

In most of our translations, the Greek word 'musterion' is translated as 'mystery'. According to the dictionaries, a mystery is "Something that is not understood or known about (Collins), Something strange or not known that has not yet been explained or understood (Cambridge)". But the apostle Paul received the revelation of the "mystery of Christ".

In fact, the Greek word 'musterion' was used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word 'sod' meaning 'secret', 'hidden thing'. Thus the coming of Jesus the Messiah was hidden for long ages past from men (Romans 16:25). But in His goodness, God has chosen to make known these glorious riches first among the Jews, then among the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:27): it is the Good News now revealed to men in Jesus Christ.


(1) The Septuagint (LXX) is the translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek, made by seventy-two translators during the second century BC.